This summer TRiO SSS students and staff had the exciting opportunity to visit the Museum of Tolerance where they learned about all the forms of prejudice, racism and discrimination existing in our world today and to understand the Holocaust in both historical and contemporary contexts. The learning experience began with a visit to “The Point of View Diner” which is a recreation of a 1950’s diner, red booths and all that “serves” a menu of controversial topics on video jukeboxes. It uses the latest cutting edge technology to relay the overall message of personal responsibility. Scenarios focus on bullying, drunk driving and hate speech; this interactive exhibit allows the students and staff to input their opinions on what they have seen and question relevant characters.
The next stop was “The Millennium Machine” that used interactivity to educate students and staff about human rights abuses throughout the world, such as the exploitation of women and children, the threat of terrorism, and the plight of refugees and political prisoners. The Millennium Machine engaged them into finding solutions, showing that while humans have the potential to bring about these problems, they also have the potential to put a stop to them.
GlobalHate.com was the third learning experience, based on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s ongoing research and investigation of hate on the internet. Globalhate.com is equipped with touch screen computer terminals that unmask the dangerous proliferation of hate on the internet and introduce questions for critical thinking in a media saturated society.
The final learning experience was the “The Holocaust Exhibit” which is a dramatic seventy–minute sound-and-light guided presentation that covers the period from the 1920’s to 1945. Students and staff were led back in time to become witnesses to events in Nazi-dominated Europe during World War II. Each individual receives a different photo passport card with the story of a child whose life was changed by the events of the Holocaust. Throughout the tour, the passport is updated and at the end, the ultimate fate of the child is revealed. The most dramatic experience occurred when the students and staff had the opportunity to interact with a Holocaust survivor, who shared her story and answered questions about her experience. From these learning experiences students and staff became more self-aware of the multiple dimensions of your identity such as race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic class, and personal values.
Article submitted by Raymond Jones.